I’ve always intended to try a bit of millinery, or at least hat alteration, so last week I finally took the plunge.
I decided to start with something really simple, a 1872 summer hat from the Met’s collection:
You can’t really get any simpler than that, right?
I thought it would go nicely with the frills of my 1871 pink extravaganza afternoon ensemble.
So I trotted off to an op shop and bought myself a decent straw hat. It looked like this:
Unfortunately I forgot to double-check my inspiration picture, so I got one with a wide braid instead of a narrow. No matter, I could still make it work.
First thing: take off that hideous raffia ribbon!
Then I picked apart the braid at the bottom of the crown. My inspiration hat has such a shallow crown that I could save the whole original brim and use it for another hat, and make the tiny brim of my inspiration hat from the bottom of the crown.
Then I started sewing, turning my loose braid into a new tiny brim, and then into a tiny turn up.
It was easy but time consuming sewing, but a few episodes of River Cottage later and I had a decent hat.
A bit of rose-red ribbon later, and some big fake flowers to add ‘oomph’ to my hair, and I wore it for a photoshoot with the pink extravaganza:
The hat isn’t quite perfect, I have some issues with the fit that I want to tweak (I also have some issues with the pink extravaganza, but that is a topic for another post!), but for a first try, I’m pretty satisfied.
I guess the same could be said of the pink extravaganza though! It was my first proper Victorian!